By DJ Padilla
“I was born upside-down…” a line from a song that I just remember now. I don’t know if it aptly states what I feel or it is an inevitable truth that I have realized from my present state of self-assessment and hibernation.
It is difficult for me to write something right now. What I mean is that I’m experiencing a kind of dilemma that whatever I write down will be literally watered down with tears; I’m love sick. I’m a bit ashamed about it, telling it to people whom I’m not acquainted with. But I believe that this is a good therapy – a kind of release to let out angst, a lot of frustrations and a lot more of chagrin. Love, romantic that is, can really make you sick. But there was a time in my life when it became a medium that healed all kinds of sickness I had incurred through my years of existence.
I had a relationship with someone for almost 10 years. I knew him since we were little and we grew up together in the same religion: we were Methodists. Our beliefs were paralleled with Catholics except for idolatry. We didn’t have idols inside the church, but the pastors delivered overly dramatic speeches coupled with scanty Bible verses.
However, Paul and I didn’t take too much notice of that. What was more important to us was that we were together, happy and contented, but contentment didn’t seem to stick out with Paul one night when we were watching T.V.
In our house, he switched the channel to SBN 21, I was shocked to see and hear a man in a religious program called “Ang Dating Daan,” saying what occurred to me were expletives then. Paul told me that the man’s name was Bro. Eli Soriano, and that he had been listening to him since high school. He wanted to join his religious group with or without me.
I was caught between love and truth. At first, I was repulsed by the way Bro. Eli made his speeches. But after watching the rest of the program that night, I came to like him, “He is speaking the truth,” I said to myself especially when he tackled the topic about women’s hair.
My hair was already long then, but I didn’t realize that it was as important as the other things which I conspicuously take care of. But I had some hesitations. My dilemma revolved around the idea that I wouldn’t be with my childhood friends anymore, I had been with them even before we ever learned saying ‘Thank you’ and ‘I love you.’ On the other hand, if I wouldn’t heed God’s summon and join “Ang Dating Daan,” I would lose Paul; he would spend more time with his new-found religion.
Eventually, I made the best decision of all. I chose neither Paul nor my childhood friends and was baptized on December 10, 1999 as member of the Church of God International.
Problems swarmed me through the years of my service to God. I encountered hardships and persecutions from people, but I believed in my faith and to what God could do for me. “Kuya” and “Ingkong” were my ‘defenders’ and they will continue to be.
The time has come for love and truth that will never cease.
Note: “Kuya” (brother) in the Members, Church of God International stands for Bro. Daniel Razon, the Vice-Presiding Minister. “Ingkong” (Grandpa) stands for Bro. Eliseo Soriano, the Presiding Minister.